Test your Ground Fault Circuits (GFCIs)!

outlet2Those funny looking electrical outlets installed where moisture might be present are safety devices intended to prevent serious electrical hazards by cutting the power. Known as Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs), Ground Fault Interrupters (GFIs) or just “safety outlets”, they should be tested at least monthly by pushing the “Test” button. Don’t forget to reset it! If your GFCIs keep tripping and you don’t know if you have a bad device or a ground fault, the Circuit Detective has a comprehensive and useful article to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about them.

Slow draining bathroom sink?

White Bathroom Sink and Faucet in Open Position with Clean WaterWe ask a lot of our bathroom sink drains. We pour toothpaste, soap, shaving cream, makeup and stray hair into them and expect them to work. Unfortunately, sometimes they don’t. A serious clog usually requires a chemical drain cleaner or a plumber’s snake. For a slow-moving drain, you might first try a plunger to dislodge the clog. It’s easy to use; be sure to use it carefully and avoid splashes. Before you begin, put a few inches of water in the sink to provide a good seal around the plunger. Next, stuff a wet rag into the overflow opening of the sink and seal it well. This air block greatly increases the effectiveness of the plunger. Then plunge away! You may have to refill the basin with water a few times to free a very stubborn clog.


 

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Do-It-Yourself home energy assessments

modern energy savingWell, it’s time for another of those seemingly unending tasks of home ownership. Most of us live in areas where summer has begun, and many of us have begun the belated yearly quest to save on our home energy costs. Here is an easy-to-use, intuitive guide from www.energysavers.gov to help you conduct an easy do-it-yourself home energy assessment (also known as a home energy audit). With a simple but diligent walk-through, you can spot many problems in any type of house. When assessing your home, keep a checklist of areas you have inspected and problems you’ve found. This list will help you prioritize your energy efficiency upgrades.


 

I hope you find this useful and timely informative! If you’re looking for a top notch home inspection in Anacortes, Washington or the San Juan Islands (including Orcas Island, Friday Harbor, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island) to keep you from buying “The Money Pit,” then you need Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections working for you! Over the past 8 years, we’ve protected over 3,200 buyers from unexpected post-closing expenses. Call (360) 298-1163 to schedule your Anacortes or San Juan Islands Home Inspection today!

Major attic ventilation problems!

Inspecting attics in Anacortes, it’s often times the case that bathroom and kitchen vents are ducted directly into the attic; this is a definite faux pas.  For the safety and well being of both the home and her occupants, it’s critical that proper ventilation of the attic be maintained so as to eliminate elevated moisture.  Elevated moisture can lead to a host of problems, including wood destroying organism activity, resultant structural damage, and the dreaded M-word, MOLD.  I created the below short video illustrating common ventilation issues encountered while conducting home inspections in Anacortes attics.

All Islands Home Inspections services all of Anacortes, Washington and the San Juan Islands.  We also service Bellingham, Oak Harbor, Freeland, Mount Vernon, and Burlington.  If you’re looking for a top notch home inspections, you need Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections working for you!  We’ve protected over 3,000 home buyers, just like you, from inheriting unforeseen post-closing expenses, aka “The Money Pit.”  Call us at (360) 298-1163 to book your inspection today!

10 ways to turn off a homebuyer

Holding HouseIt is still a home buyer’s market with lower home prices and bank rates. Many home sellers fail to realize that, to buyers, just as important as “location, location, location” is “first impression,” and appearance is its primary component. Based on appearance some buyers don’t even get out of their cars, others don’t make it all the way to your door and many have formulated positive or negative feelings about your home within the first minute, often before they even get to the bedrooms. Yahoo Finance’s Bankrate, Inc. assembled a coast-to-coast team of experts to suggest 10 buyer turnoffs that sellers should avoid at all costs.

Hope you find this useful and timely informative! If you’re looking for a top notch home inspection in Anacortes, Washington or the San Juan Islands (including Orcas Island, Friday Harbor, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island), then you need Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections working for you! Over the past 8 years, we’ve protected over 3,200 buyers from unexpected post-closing expenses. Call (360) 298-1163 to schedule your Anacortes or San Juan Islands Home Inspection today!

SCREEN PASS: SOFFIT VENTS NEED PROTECTION

Like a fine wine from the Columbia Valley, your home needs to breathe. 

For example, soffit vents around the perimeter of a home can help with attic ventilation issues. However, too much ventilation is not a good thing.

I recently inspected a home in Anacortes that was missing soffit vent screens around the perimeter of the building. When vents are not screened, birds and other animals may decide to put down stakes in your home. 

Not exactly something to say “cheers” about. 

If you have questions or comments about ventilation issues or home inspections in general, tweet me (@AIHomeInspect).

How much can you save if your replace that OLD refrigerator?

fridgeShould you replace that old refrigerator?

You probably know that refrigerators are typically the most energy-hungry appliances in your home, so the more efficient your refrigerator the more money you can save. Older refrigerators are usually two to three times more costly to run than newer models. If you still have a fridge from the 1980s, replace it with an ENERGY STAR qualified model and save over $100 each year on your utility bills. Replace a fridge from the 1970s and save nearly $200 each year! If you are wondering whether replacing your refrigerator is a good decision for you, ENERGY STAR Savings has a calculator you can use to find out exactly how much money you’ll save by replacing your existing refrigerator.

Pool and deck safety tips

Backyard heated Swimming Pool

  1. Make sure all gates in the isolation fence for your pool are self-closing and self-latching.
  2. Remove all chairs, tables, large toys or other objects that would allow a child to climb up to reach the gate latch or enable the child to climb over the pool isolation fence.
  3. Reaching and throwing aids like poles should be kept on both sides of the pool. These items should remain stationary and not be misplaced through play activities.
  4. All pool and hot tub drains (suction outlets) must have a cover or gate that meets industry standards for suction fittings marked to indicate compliance with ANSI/ASME A112.19.8 2007. Check to see that these covers are not broken or in disrepair, and that they are anchored firmly over the drain openings.
  5. Install a pool alarm to detect accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. While the alarm provides an immediate warning, it does not substitute for the fences, door alarms and safety covers required by the code.
  6. Install either an automatic or manually operated, approved safety cover to completely block access to water in the pool, spa or hot tub. Never allow anyone to stand or play on a pool cover.
  7. Check for warning signs for an unsafe deck, including loose or wobbly railings or support beams, missing or loose screws that connect a deck to the house, corrosion, rot and cracks.

Fun Facts Friday!

The Eiffel Tower was ascended for the first time on March 31, 1889. Gustave Eiffel himself led a group of government officials and members of the press to the top. The elevators were not in operation yet, so the journey was made on foot and took over an hour.

The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris.